Perhaps you’ve seen this phrase or a variation of it online: “I don’t have a dream job because I don’t dream of labour.” Though I don’t fully agree with it, it’s an interesting concept, and I think it speaks to a larger problem that’s facing the world.
Most people, while maybe they like their jobs enough, they’d probably prefer to not have to work. There’s a reason why people hate Mondays and why people look forward to the weekends. Most people just work for the money because we need money to survive, and in this economy, we need a lot of it. So we let our jobs consume our life, define it even, so we can live. From literally the age of 4, we’re put on this path (aka school) that’s designed to get us to a place where we can go work for the rest of our lives. If you’re lucky, you end up with a good job that supports your lifestyle, a job that you enjoy doing, and a job that will allow you to retire at a reasonable age. But is that the reality for most people? What’s more, is that enough for most people?
I can’t speak for older generations, but it certainly seems that this younger generation is far less interested in just accepting this life. That’s why beliefs like the dream job phrase are so popular. People aren’t afraid to express their unhappiness with this very capitalist society we live in where we’re replaceable bots just built to serve a higher, much richer power. And then to go home to expensive rents, long commutes, student debt…I can understand why people dislike it and why people are struggling to find their place in the world.
Is the solution to just like, get rid of jobs? No, of course not. I’m not anti-job or anti-consumerism; I know that there are jobs that need to be done and there are services that people benefit from/enjoy, and that will never go away.
But perhaps people would be more willing to take a job they’re not super passionate about or even suffer through a bad job if it wasn’t such a huge part of life. People need more time to not be an employee. Between the working hours of 9-5, there’s often a hefty commute for many that’ll add an hour or three, not to mention things like making lunches the night before, working through lunch, working overtime, and whatever else. It adds up, and if you’re a parent, you have even less free time outside of that. You gotta sleep and go grocery shopping and still do all that. Is there room for friendships, family, or hobbies?
I know there’s a push for 4-day work weeks that some companies are starting to do, and I think that’s a great idea. I hope it becomes the norm. I think there’d be a huge decline in depression and suicide rates, and not to mention that people would be able to use that extra day of not working to put money back into the economy by going out and doing things and investing in hobbies.
I do believe that dream jobs exist. I do believe that there are people who love their career and wake up excited to go do it every day. We should still definitely encourage people to try and do what they love and lean into the things they’re good at. But I think we in general need to be more realistic about passions, how hard it can be to make money with passions, how many people don’t end up with dream jobs, how unpleasant the workforce can be, and how much of our life is consumed by our employment. If we’re more accepting of these less glamorous realities, we can make changes to improve so that life is better for everyone.
The idea for this post came from watching this video below that YouTube recommended to me. After watching this girl, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole and watched several others speak on the topic. I can’t really relate to some of it, as I do believe that I’m in the field I’m meant to be in and quickly found footing when I was unsure after high school, but I do agree that the pressure of a career so early in life and for so long can be toxic and hard to manage.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you have a dream job? Are you in that dream job? Do you think the workforce as we know it is healthy? As someone kind of just entering it, this does fascinate me, so any insight you have is welcomed!
That’s all for now!